May 24, 2008

Life Is Just A...

Thursday night I was handed a large opaque bag by some friends who have recently bought a plot of land with many, many varieties of fruit trees.
I peered inside to find it full of griottes - tart little cherries.
The second fabulous food gift this week!

A third of them is being made into Sour Cherry Liqueur which we'll be enjoying by Christmas.
A third will become Confiture de Griottes.
A third will be made into Griotte Cherries with Bay Leaf from Michel Troisgros.

200g griotte cherries (7 1/2 oz)
12.5cl white vinegar at 8° (1/2 cup)
10cl water (1/3 cup)
100g sugar (4 oz)
20 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves

Prepare the sweet-and-sour mixture: in a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water and sugar and bring to a boil. Skim carefully and set aside in a warm place.

Rinse the cherries in cold water and dry them in a tea towel. Trim the stems halfway down. Prick each cherry a few times with a needle so that the juice soaks through.

As you prepare the cherries, place them in a jar. Add the crushed peppercorns and bay leaves, then pour the boiling liquid over the cherries to cover them completely.

When they have cooled, close the jar and set aside in a cold place for a few days before opening.

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Charles said...


Do you have a recipe for your Sour Cherry Liqueor?


katiez said...

I have a sour cherry tree - the birds leave those for us, but I never knew what to do with them.
(We don't stand a chance with the sweet cherries)

Betty C. said...

Oh, I almost took a shot of some cherries today but then decided not to.

We don't get many griottes around here.

Loulou said...

Here's the recipe I'm trying:
1 lb. (450 g) sour cherries
3 cups (710 ml) vodka
1 1/2 cup (350 g) sugar

Wash and check the cherries and remove stems. Place them in a jar, add vodka, cap with tight lid and mix. Stir daily during the first days, later at least once a week for 3-4 weeks.

Add sugar, and stir until most of it has dissolved. Stir again at least once a week for 3-4 weeks. Filter the mixture of berries and alcohol and transfer the liquid to a bottle. After three months strain the liqueur thru a cloth. Add some more sugar if necessary. The liqueur should mellow for at least 4 months before drinking, preferably for 8 months.

I'll know how it tastes in about 6 months!

Loulou said...

I've never cooked with sour cherries before so this is a treat! Can't wait to make the jam.

There are a lot of both varieties around here, also my favorite, Rainier cherries.

JohnB said...

so how did it turn out? any changes? did you wait 8 months?
I just started my batch.

Loulou said...

Yes, we've tasted it and I think it is great! It has a very warm, almost almond flavor under the cherries.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

What a lovely food gift..a great treat! How great to have such wonderful friends and great for them to have a variety of fruit trees.

Brass Frog said...

Back when I was seriously making chouchen (mead), the sour cherry processors close by in Michigan would THROW AWAY the juice from the pitter. We got them to save some for us. The best mead I ever made (and won many awards for) was Pie Cherry Melomel (fruit mead made with pie cherries). It was slightly sweet, but with a tart-almondy flavor, and the color of a fine red wine.

Loulou said...

It was a great gift! Unfortunately they aren't here this summer. We miss them (and their gifts!).

Brass Frog
Oh my god. Pie Cherry Melomel sounds amazing!
Do you still make it? If so, can you send me some? :)

Amanda said...

Can I preserve the sour cherries with bay leaf with the hot water bath? and if not, how long will the cherries keep if stored properly? We have sour cherry trees and I have to do something with them all!

Chez Loulou said...

I'm not sure how that would work. You'll have to do some research online. Please let me know if it turns out!
(I apologize for the delayed response to your comment...)